didn't go to this gig. I already had tickets for Iron Maiden the
following night and was struggling to justify the added expense, but my
wife was keen to go and as we both have birthdays coming up we thought
why not. It proved to be the right decision and then some.
We were a bit late getting into the hall and were greeted with the sight
and sound of Rival Sons in full flight. There is a lot of hype
surrounding Rival Sons at the moment and they are gaining a lot of radio
airplay. I only caught 3 songs of their brief set and whilst they played
well they came across as fairly average, not bad but essentially not
great. All hype and no real substance, only time will tell….
Next up on this three band package were Queensryche. I have
always felt I should like Queensryche, but although I have tried
listening to them on several occasions and seen them live before, they
just leave me cold.
me wrong, they are a good band with some excellent songs in their back
catalogue and tonight's performance was good, well played, but there was
no real heart in it.
The 8 song
set included 'I Don't Believe In Love', 'Empire' and 'Eyes Of A
Stranger' which should have shone, but Geoff Tate and crew made them
sound workmanlike and uncharismatic, shame.
So far, so average then, but we still had the mighty Priest to
come and save the day and by god did they.
This current world tour is reported to be the bands last and with KK
Downing pulling out at the eleventh hour there were doubts over whether
it would all be a bit of a farce.
question was answered before the end of the opening number 'Rapid Fire',
Judas Priest were in town and were going to go out in a blaze of glory.
What followed was the gig of the year, no contest, no correspondence
will be entered into!
The set was comprised of a track from each Priest album through their
career and with a back catalogue as good as Priest's it was what to
leave out that must have been the biggest headache. 'Metal Gods' was
next up closely followed by 'Heading Out On The Highway' and the
classics just kept coming.
All the band, including new guitarist Ritchie Faulkner were in stunning
form. Rob Halford never missed a note all night and his screams can
still strip paint from venue walls.
set was draped in chains and there were more smoke and flames on stage
than you would find in a (British) steel works. There were also a
multitude of lasers which were used to great effect and video backdrops
showing each album cover as they came along.
Staging aside though, it was the band and the performance that really
impressed and the two real highlights for me were 'Victim of Changes'
and a blistering rendition of 'Painkiller' which rounded off the main
Encores, how about 'Electric Eye', 'Hell Bent For Leather' with Rob
riding his motorbike on stage, 'You've Got Another Thing Coming' and
finally 'Living After Midnight' to top off a breathtaking gig.
If this is the last tour Priest do then on this form it would be a
travesty, but it has been reported they might still do festival
appearances in the future.
the case then Twisted Sister could lose their crown as ultimate festival
band because on this form Judas Priest are untouchable.